BOISE -- A former captain at Idaho State Correctional Institution was sentenced last week to 12 years in prison after he admitted to child enticement.

Forty-year-old Thomas Duane Sammons of Kuna will have to serve at least three years of that sentence before he can become eligible for parole.

He was arrested in June after the mother of an underage girl found concerning texts from Sammons on her daughter's cell phone, and called Kuna Police. The case was investigated by the Idaho Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit.

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Sammons was fired from his position at the prison less than a month before he was formally charged in the case, but Idaho Department of Correction officials declined to say whether his termination was connected to the criminal investigation. He had worked at ISCI since June 2014.

According to court records, Sammons pleaded guilty to the charge in February.

Child enticement is punishible by up to 15 years in prison.